Are you ready for your organization to make changes, but you aren’t sure how to get started? Could you use an expert to help you analyze and prioritize your issues? Could you use support in implementing new approaches? Then a Focused Consultation is tailored just for you!
Thanks to the generosity of Maddie’s Fund®, the Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge is offering Focused Shelter Consultations tailored for the priorities and opportunities identified by the participating animal shelters. Focused Shelter Consultations are led by experts with decades of combined experience and are completely free of charge.

The Focused Shelter Consultations will be led by Cameron Moore from Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida, with other experts joining in based on the specialized needs of the consultation topics selected. We’ll work with your team toward the goal of delivering humane, community-centric programming – both inside and outside of the shelter – to achieve the right outcome for every cat and dog.

Our consultations can range from a single top-priority topic all the way up to a comprehensive shelter assessment. Most involve an in-person visit by our consultants for up to a week. Sometimes a great plan needs a boost to get started, and that’s when our consultants might return for an “embed,” to work side-by-side with your staff for up to a week to launch a project.

Some of our most requested topics include:

  • Shelter animal statistical analysis and tracking
  • Protocol review
  • Population management
  • Sanitation
  • Intake processing
  • Parasite control
  • Vaccination
  • Nutrition and feeding
  • Animal housing
  • Disease outbreak response
  • Veterinary services
    • On-site veterinary services vs. external community clinics
    • High Quality, High Volume Spay/Neuter (HQHVSN)
    • Disease recognition and diagnosis
    • Treatment for common conditions
  • Fear Free Shelters
  • Behavior and enrichment
  • Community cat programs
  • High-intensity trap-neuter-return (TNR)
  • Pet retention safety net programs
  • Increasing adoptions
  • Transport programs
  • High-impact animal rescue/foster
  • Every organization and every community is different. The support we offer will be tailored to your individualized needs based on an initial phone conversation and application process.
  • If your shelter or other animal welfare group reaches out, you will receive a response and help, ranging from phone advice to referrals all the way to a five-day site visit.
  • Support does not end when the consultation ends. Our experts will continue to be there for you in the future.
  • Receive written recommendations provided by the consultation team
  • Develop strategies to balance public and animal safety with improved outcomes
  • Learn to increase live outcomes, keep pets and families together, and end euthanasia as population control
  • Feel confident in implementing recommendations within your fiscal and community realities
  • Establish an ongoing relationship with our experts to provide support in the future as needed
  • Who can apply? The Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge sponsors Targeted Shelter Consultations for animal shelters and community cat management programs. In addition, we specialize in helping cat rescue organizations and TNR programs that are ready to transition to high-intensity models to maximize their impact in the community.
  • What is included in the sponsored consultations? Our consultations include research and preparation, time on the ground with you, and personalized follow-up to support you implementation process. Our travel costs and professional time are included in the pro bono consultation.
  • What is not included in the sponsored consultations? We are not a grant-making organization. However, we are often able to identify funding resources that match your goals.
  • What if my shelter is experiencing a disease outbreak? Disease outbreaks require urgent intervention, often before a formal consultation can be completed. Our consultants partner with infectious disease experts from Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida to identify the cause of the outbreak, bring it under control, and implement strategies to prevent recurrence. Learn more about UF’s outbreak response program (links to MSMP page).
  • Can you help our rescue or TNR program that doesn’t use a shelter? We focus on collaboration that delivers access to care through humane, community-centric programming – both inside and outside of the shelter – to achieve the right outcome for every cat and dog. Rescue and TNR organizations can expand the social safety net for pets and community cats when performed at scale. With years of experience in both TNR and cat rescue, we are here to support your transition to high-intensity models that maximize your impact in the community.
  • How much time should I plan for the Targeted Shelter Consultation? You can expect to spend a few hours with your consultant prior to the visit to strategically select the topics to focus on and to create a plan for the on-site visit. Our onsite visits range from 1 to 5 days depending on the size of the shelter and the scope of issues being addressed. Several follow-up meetings will support implementation. In general, the entire consultation process often spans a period of six months.
  • How will we prepare for the Targeted Shelter Consultation? Your consultant will guide you through a planning process designed to get the most out of your consultation. You can expect to share and discuss information relevant to the topics you’ve selected to work on, such as shelter data, operational protocols, floor plans, organization charts, state laws and local ordinances, and community resources.
  • Who comes to the Targeted Shelter Consultation? Part of our mission is to train up and coming experts in the consultation process. Don’t be surprised if our team includes visiting experts, veterinary interns and residents, consultants-in-training, and veterinary students, all under the supervision of the lead consultant.
  • How soon can we have a Targeted Shelter Consultation? The timing of a Targeted Shelter Consultation will be influenced by our consultant’s schedule, time allocated to preparation, and travel restrictions related to pandemic patterns. Highly focused consultations and those within driving distance from the University of Florida can often be completed in a short time, whereas more comprehensive and distant consultations are usually scheduled a few months in advance.
  • What if we need help with implementation? Our experts can embed in your shelter for up to a full week to help implement plans made in advance. Examples of this might include a “Clear the Shelter” adoption event, infectious disease response, community cat program launch, and transitioning an overcrowded shelter into balance with its capacity for care using life-saving strategies.
  • Where can I learn more about the Targeted Shelter Consultation? Learn more here (Link to MSMP page to be built).

If after reading all of the qualifying requirements, you believe your organization is ready for a Focused Shelter Consultation, apply here.

A collaboration of UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at UF, Open Door Veterinary Collective, and Team Shelter USA.

Maddie’s® Million Pet Challenge is creating transformative “communities of practice” that deliver access to care through humane, community-centric programming—inside and outside of the shelter—to achieve the right outcome for every pet. Our consultative mentoring services are holistic, deep and practical, and delivered by the proven team who brought you the Million Cat Challenge, in expanded partnership with Open Door Veterinary Collective. This program is made available at no cost to participants, #ThanksToMaddie